Leather and pre-2000 classic rock made a comeback last week at the H Ric. Luhrs Performing Arts Center as HEART tribute band, Heart By Heart, used their instruments as a canvas to recreate HEART’s music in the same way it was shaped decades before.
Heart By Heart sported a sense of authenticity with original HEART band members and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Steve Fossen and Mike Derosier, which helps the band stand out from other tributes. Taking the place of HEART’s remaining original band members were vocalist Somar Macek and guitarists Randy Hansen and Lizzy Daymont, who together performed each song with an impressive familiarity to the originals.
Playing everything from “Kick It Out” to “Dog and Butterfly,” “Alone” and “Barracuda,” Heart By Heart gave the audience a set list crafted with variety and fan favorites in mind.
To fill the silence in between songs, Fossen unleashed his inner comedian. Well, at least he tried.
“Who remembers the ’80s?” Fossen asked the audience, prompting at least a dozen hands shooting up. “Really? Because I lived through the ’80s and I don’t remember a thing.” Fortunately, his performance on bass put his jokes to shame.
Lead vocalist, Macek lightheartedly competed with Fossen for the spotlight throughout the show with witty comebacks to Fossen’s attempts to humor the audience. However, she earned the spotlight fairly with her hardcore rocker getup and unexpected powerful yet angelic voice.
The audience was not shocked when Macek revealed halfway through the night that Fossen is actually her husband of two years, since it explained their couple-like banter on stage.
Macek and Fossen were practically the “mom and dad” of Heart By Heart, and through the connection of music, they welcomed the fans to become a part of the band’s extended family for the night.
“So are you guys done for the night? Are you tired? You don’t want to hear anything else?” Macek asked the audience as the performance reached just shy of two hours and Heart By Heart was running low on songs to play.
The crowd grew restless — they were fighting the tiredness of a long day and understandably not ready for the drive home quite yet. “OK, let me teach you our chant so you can call us back on stage,” Macek said. “Heart By Heart. Heart By Heart. Heart By Heart.”
Promptly the band strutted off stage. Lucky for Heart By Heart, the Luhrs Center audience followed through with the instructions they received moments before and chanted them back on stage for an encore.
Heart By Heart closed the show with a cover of the Led Zeppelin song, “Rock and Roll.”
Derosier dominated the encore and made a point to highlight his accomplished drummer’s flair with precise and powerful strikes.
He poured every trace of energy his arms had left into the final song — so much so that his glasses jumped right off his face and he drummed glassless until the end.